Fracking for shale gas in the UK has become a highly politicised issue. This chapter focuses on the English case, where communities are turning to direct action in their dispute with the industry. It is argued that the centralised character of English policy-making has exacerbated tensions by placing local people in direct opposition to national government. This argument is illustrated through a discussion of the policy and planning processes which constrain the opportunities for public participation in shale gas decision-making. A comparative analysis of public submissions to two planning hearings reveals both common themes, such as the role of place attachment and perceived democratic deficit in motivating opposition, and the importance of local context in shaping community response. Many of the countries undertaking unconventional gas development have federal systems of government and debates on the desirability of the industry have taken place at state level. An international comparison underscores the lack of corresponding discursive space in the English administration and provides further insight into how the unitary form of government has shaped the national dispute.